Birding Foreste Casentinesi National Park

Casentino Forests National Park, in the Tosco-Romagnola Appenines, is a 140-square-mile park preserving one of the oldest forests in Europe. It is possible to walk for days without ever leaving the luxuriant green canopy.

The park is home to thousands of animal and plant species. Most noteworthy are the large mammals: wild boar, wolf, and red, fallow, and roe deer. Currently about 100 bird species nest here, a combination of typical central European species and Mediterranean species. Tall old trees in the extensive forests attract cavity nesters such as the tawny owl, nuthatch, great spotted and black woodpeckers, and crested, coal, and marsh tits. More open environments host an equally rich birdlife, including tawny pipit, red-backed shrike, and woodlark. Among the birds of prey are honey buzzard, sparrowhawk, goshawk, and golden eagle. Streams and farmland are good places for white-throated dipper, firecrest, common cuckoo, nightjar, and linnet.

The park can be easily reached from Arezzo and Florence.